Vancouver Island artist Charine Barber was born in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada and moved to British Columbia with her parents and sister at the age of 10. Charine is of European descent and her German and Polish ancestors moved to Canada two generations prior, at a very young age.
Charine has been a creative individual for her entire life and has always had a love for nature. She explored the waters and beaches of Vancouver Island with her father as a child and spent endless hours scouring the shores for shells, rocks, sea-glass and wood and had a special love for polished stones and crystals. Throughout her school years she always excelled in art classes and was drawn to an abstract expression which led her to become a collector of local fine artists works for the last 25 years. During a very traumatic & trying time in her life, as well as an undiagnosed health problem Charine was drawn back to her artistic side when she took up painting in 2011 to help her find some peace and clarity. She found painting to be very therapeutic & it helped her relax & take her mind off of her health concerns. Charine would get lost in the painting process and it helped her temporarily forget about her pain issues. After several years of painting, being mostly self-taught, Charine took a painting course by the late portrait painter Mary Jean Brown. Mary Jeans painting class helped Charine develop her skills, discover new techniques & it also helped her build her confidence as an artist.
In the earlier years Charine painted mostly portrait style pieces. As a very detailed person she couldn’t find a way to let loose enough to create the abstract pieces that she so desired. When she was introduced to acrylic pouring (ie. fluid art, paint pouring) she felt that she could finally start creating abstract works. In fluid painting, the paint is not fully controllable & there is an element of chance combined with chemistry & vision, therefore it allowed her to create her own abstract works for the first time. Since then Charine has studied many other acrylic pouring techniques through fluid art courses and experimentation. Through these courses and experiments she was able to learn more about the chemistry behind the art and how using viscosity, tinting, transparency/opaqueness, as well as using additives and colour planning all play a huge roll in the final outcome of the piece.
During Charine's exploration period with fluid acrylics and acrylic pouring, she started working with resin & then discovered that there was a new geode inspired paint movement & she was completely hooked. Her childhood obsession with polished stones, sea-glass, semi-precious stones, shells and other organic materials came full circle into her work. Charine is also a very spiritual person who has been mediating for over 10 years and she loves the healing powers of crystals, so it was a natural fit for her to incorporate these stones into her work. Charine loves to work with resin due to the mesmerizing mirror-like shine that it creates that mimic her fond memories of collecting polished stones as a child. Incorporating resin with her paint pouring techniques enables her to create unique looking geode style paintings that mimic the rock formations found in nature.
Charine has a strong following from around the world and her work is collected and displayed throughout the Victoria area, Canada and in the USA. Charine does mainly commission pieces and she also leases out her work. Charine creates for herself and she still finds it very therapeutic and a necessary part of her healing journey.